To all those “sports writers” out there who are starting to write USC off for all the seasons to come you might want to start looking deeper into the apparent “down-slide” of a great football program.
It isn’t a “down-slide” at all.
First things first they started a rookie quarterback. Was that their intention all along? No. Was it a good choice? It turned out to be. Aaron Corp, a sophomore, was supposed to start at quarterback until a knee injury vaulted Matt Barkley into the starting position. Barkley’s performance in USC’s win over a ranked Ohio State team solidified him as the real deal. Though you could see where improvements in his game needed to be made he stepped up and delivered.
Secondly Pete Carroll’s move up into the NFL is a good thing and he should be given all the support in the world from the USC faithful. The control and the money Carroll gets in Seattle would be insane to pass up. He isn’t bailing on a failing USC program, he is moving forward from it’s success.
Third, losing 4 conference games means nothing in the overall scheme of things. Just as in any other conference in any other game you build and prepare to win you own conference first and foremost. Remember Carroll’s goal was to always make it to the Rose Bowl, not the BCS Championship Game. That would just be icing on the cake! After beating up on your own conference for a decade or so the other teams were forced to adjust to beat USC. In fact that was the goal for most teams in the Pac-10. Beat USC and your job was probably safe, let alone you have the ability to beat many other teams as USC is a power-house on the national scene.
People who paid attention to the Pac-10 saw Stanford, Oregon, and Cal getting better and better every year against USC. The games were closer and closer until they finally broke through. The loss against Washington can be easily explained as Husky Head Coach Steve Sarkisian new Pete Carroll and his ways well and was not even a year removed from the team giving him a bit of an advantage. Though the loss was a tough one to take it is understandable.
This article also appears on HeavenlyDevils.com